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Please read the articles from Dr. Ornish in newseek at


for weekly information.

And PMRI at http://www.pmri.org/?p=krf

Update one: Fish oil.

Update two: Fat free foods.

Update three: Multi-vitamin with out iron.

Update four: Green Tea.


 Update One:

  TO:                  Ornish Participants  & Ornish Self-Directed Communities   


FROM:    Highmark Preventive Health Services, Dr. Dean Ornish & Preventive Medicine Research Institute

 DATE:             June 13, 2006

 SUBJECT:       New Recommendation For The Use of Fish Oil Supplements In Individuals with Congestive Heart Failure, Angina (chest pain)

As science continues to make advancements in the area of nutrition supplementation and heart health, Dr. Ornish periodically updates his Program recommendations to reflect these advancements.   Recently Dr. Ornish and the Preventive Medicine Research Institute issued a new recommendation regarding the use of fish oil supplements (omega-3 fatty acids) for individuals who have recurrent angina, congestive heart failure, or evidence that the heart is not receiving enough blood flow when exercising. 

 New Findings

Recent investigations from the pioneer in omega-3 fatty acid research, Dr. Alexander Leaf, at Harvard Medical School, have found that, in some cases, omega-3s can be harmful in people who have angina (chest pain) or congestive heart failure. . One of the reasons omega-3 fatty acids may decrease the incidence of sudden cardiac death is that they stop those cardiac cells that are the most unstable from functioning. However, in people who have angina or congestive heart failure, removing those cells from functioning can reduce the heart’s ability to pump blood so much that it may increase the risk of sudden cardiac death.

New Recommendation: Dr. Ornish advises individuals who have recurrent angina, congestive heart failure, or evidence that the heart is not receiving enough blood flow when exercising not to take omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil).

However, individuals with heart disease, or those who had a heart attack but do not have angina or congestive heart failure, are advised to continue taking 3 grams of fish oil daily.

Studies have shown that daily consumption of omega-3 fatty acids in these individuals have multiple health benefits.  These benefits include the dramatic reduction in the incidence of sudden cardiac death, the reduction of triglycerides, the lowering of blood pressure and the decrease of inflammation. Fish oil can also help to prevent excessive blood clots from forming which, in turn, may decrease the risk of a heart attack (1).  As with any recommendation, each individual should discuss how this information relates to his or her health condition with his or her personal physician.


  1. Kris-Etherton PM, Harris WS, Appel LJ. American Heart Association Nutrition Committee. Fish consumption, Fish oil, omega-3 Fatty Acids, and cardiovascular disease. Circulation 2002;106:2747-2757.
  2. Alexander Leaf. Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death by n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids. In Press



  Update Two: (Back to top)

  FROM: Ornish Nutrition Team 2004

  As food manufacturers continue to make advancements in fat free food products and ingredient content, Dr. Dean Ornish has found it necessary to refine the label and food product recommendations  for the Program.  These updates apply to food labels and certain food products that fall into the following areas:

                        Fat free food products (foods with 0 grams of fat per serving)

·                                Fat free dairy products

·                                Caffeine free products

   These updates will help to ensure that our participants have access to a variety of food products, which will help to promote long-term adherence to the reversal eating plan.

All other nutrition guidelines remain the same. 

  As always, please call your dietitian with any questions.

 2004 Updated  “Fat Free” Food Label Guideline

  All fat free foods (foods with 0 grams of fat per serving) that contain ACCEPTABLE fats or oils can now be included in the reversal eating style in moderation, regardless of where the acceptable added fats or oils fall in the ingredient list.  Servings of any foods with trace amounts of added oils are still limited to 0-3 servings per day.  By following this serving limit, you will continue to maintain an eating style that is 10% fat.

  This update applies only to fat free food products (foods with 0 grams of fat per serving).  Other packaged foods (food with 1 to 3 grams of fat per serving) that contain added fats or oils need to have the acceptable oil listed at or near the end of the ingredient list.  As a reminder, any Ornish friendly food with added oil should be limited to no more than 3 servings per day.

  Acceptable oils that can be found in fat free packaged food products:

  canola oil

  corn oil


  mono and diglycerides

  nut oils

  nuts and seeds

  olive oil

  peanut oil

  safflower oil

  sesame oil

  soybean oil

  sunflower oil

    Unacceptable oils that cannot be found in packaged food items:

  beef and chicken fat


  coconut oil


  egg yolks*

  hydrogenated oils


  low fat* and whole milk products*



  palm and palm kernel oil

  partially hydrogenated oils


   * These particular ingredients may be present in certain fat free dairy products

  Promise Ultra fat free spread and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter fat free spread, are examples of foods that fit the revised nutrition guidelines.  They contain acceptable oils in their ingredient lists and both contain 0 grams of fat per serving.

   I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray and Coffee-Mate fat free French Vanilla Non-Dairy Creamer, are examples of foods that do not fit the revised guidelines.  They contain unacceptable oils, butter and partially hydrogenated oils.

  Note: Fat free toppings such as fat free Cool-Whip and fat free Reddi-Whip still do not fit the reversal nutrition guidelines because they contain hydrogenated oils or other unacceptable fats such as cream.

  II.  Packaged Fat Free Dairy Products: 

  Over the past year, many fat free dairy products that used to fit the nutrition guidelines now contain trivial amounts of saturated fat in the ingredient list.  Examples of these products include; fat free sour cream, fat free cream cheese, fat free cheese products and fat free cream based dressings. 

  2004 Updated Fat Free Dairy Guideline:

  All “fat free” dairy products are now acceptable, regardless of the type of fat added.  All fat free dairy products are still limited to no more that 2 servings per day.  Due to the trivial amounts of these added fats and the restriction of no more than 2 servings per day, overall fat consumption is minimal and still falls within the reversal nutrition guidelines. 

  Examples of fat free dairy products that fit the guidelines include: fat free cheese slices, fat free shredded cheese, fat free cream cheese, fat free sour cream, fat free yogurt, fat free cottage cheese, fat free mayonnaise and fat free milk.

  III.  Caffeine Free Products

  2004 Updated Caffeine Guideline

  Any caffeine free product is now acceptable, not just naturally caffeine free products.  Examples  include products such as caffeine free Diet Coke and caffeine free Diet Pepsi.  Decaffeinated coffees and teas continue to be excluded, including beverages that have been naturally decaffeinated.

   For those chocolate cravings - a new product called Wondercocoa made by Wonderslim is fat free and 99.7% caffeine free.  This product can be used as a chocolate substitute and is now approved for  use in moderation.  If interested in this product, please refer to the following ordering and contact  information:


  Update Three:  (Back to top)

       From Web MD. Dr. Ornish article on Supplements.

       Multi-vitamin with vitamin B-12*: 1 per day

       (*without iron unless your menstruating or iron deficient)


     Update Four:  (Back to top)

    Green Tea;

    Question and answer to Dr. Ornish about Green Tea  from Web MD.

Both green tea and black tea have been shown to reduce the risk of several types of cancers, particularly digestive tract and urinary tract cancers, as well as the risk of heart disease. In one study, those who drank more than two cups a day were 32% less likely to have cancers of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, colon, and rectum. They were also 60% less likely to have cancers of the urinary tract than those who never or seldom drank tea. And more of the beverage was apparently better. Four or more cups of tea per day lowered the risk of such cancers by 63%. In contrast, coffee drinking was not found to be related to the risk of these cancers.

Researchers at the Saitama Cancer Research Center in Komuro, Japan, also found that green tea may raise HDL-cholesterol levels.

Tea contains polyphenols, antioxidants that may be the source of its anticancer effect. Green tea contains a polyphenol known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg), which in animal tests has been shown to prevent the formation of tumors. Researchers at Purdue University found in laboratory tests that EGCg killed human breast cancer cells but did not kill noncancerous human breast cells.

Both green and black tea are made from the same plant, but are the result of different processing methods. Black tea is fermented, and green tea is not. Some studies also suggest that both green tea and black tea may enhance your immune function, but black tea has less EGCg than green tea. Green tea has less caffeine than black tea.

I would suggest avoiding caffeine for people who have irregular heartbeats, but the new research showing the substantial benefits of drinking tea may outweigh the modest amounts of caffeine in green tea. Also, you can find decaffeinated green tea and black tea.

From PMRI:


Caffeine — All sources of caffeine are eliminated, including regular and decaffeinated coffees and teas, chocolate, cocoa, and regular or decaffeinated dark colas, with the exception of green tea. Caffeine’s effect on the central nervous system interferes with the mind body connection and therefore meditation and relaxation. Why is green tea an exception? Evidence from recent studies on tea shows that the health benefits of green tea outweigh the risks for most individuals. Green tea contains a variety of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols, especially the flavonoids such as catechins, which may reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. Individuals with arrhythmia and elevated stress should still avoid any caffeinated beverage. Although green tea contains some caffeine and its caffeine content is lower than that found in coffee, black or oolong teas and caffeinated cola soft drinks, it should be limited to no more than 2 cups per day. Additionally, decaffeinated green tea can be consumed. Be sure to purchase green tea that has been decaffeinated with the “effervescence” method (uses water and carbon dioxide), which preserves most of the polyphenols present in regular green tea. Naturally caffeine-free herbal teas, grain-based coffees (i.e. Postum, Caffix and Roma), carob powder, Sprite, 7-Up or Ginger Ale are also good alternatives. For more information on the benefits of green tea, see Dr. Ornish’s recent column, Touting Tea. Newsweek.



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